The Wisconsin Badgers (9-7, 2-1 Big 10) and the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (10-6, 0-3 Big 10) face off at Louis Brown Athletic Center. The Badgers will try to lengthen their five-game winning streak. Wisconsin is a 1.5-point favorite on the opening line, while the games Over/Under (O/U) opened at 125 points. Action starts at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, January 5, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN2.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights Free Preview
The Badgers beat the Indiana Hoosiers in their last game, 71-61. Ethan Happ was the games leading scorer with 28 points on 11-for-17 shooting. Wisconsin dominated nearly every facet of the game. They had a ridiculous free throw rate of 0.383 (above their season average of 0.225) and an offensive rebounding percentage of 46.4 (above their season average of 28.7). Indiana was 0.180 and 29.2, respectively, for those same stats.
In the Scarlet Knights last matchup, they were topped by the No. 13 Purdue Boilermakers, 82-51. Geo Baker led Rutgers in scoring with 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting. Purdue did an excellent job of making free throws (20-28; 71.4 percent). Rutgers, meanwhile, forced the Boilermakers into a turnover percentage of 19.7 (above their season average of 14.5).
The battle on the backboards could prove decisive, pitting strength against strength. The Scarlet Knights are among the NCAA’s elite on the offensive glass, ranking 17th in offensive rebounding percentage at 36.6 percent. Meanwhile, Wisconsin ranks 35th in the nation at corralling defensive rebounds with a defensive rebounding percentage of 75.4 percent.
Of Wisconsin’s 15 games that accepted bets, seven have finished over the O/U total, while 5 of Rutgers 8 games have finished under the projected point total. The Scarlet Knights hold the substantial advantage straight up (SU) (10-6 vs. 9-7), but the Badgers have been superior against the spread (ATS) (6-9 vs. 5-2-1).
This is the first time these teams will go head-to-head this year, after the Badgers won both contests last season. In the last game, Wisconsin won 61-54. The Badgers dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a turnover percentage of 17.2 and a solid free throw rate of 0.300. For those same stats, the Scarlet Knights had marks of 23.2 and 0.241, respectively.
Wisconsin Badgers vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights ATS Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – Wisconsin, ATS Winner – Wisconsin, O/U – Under
- The Scarlet Knights rank 17th in blocks per game (5.8) while the Badgers rank 120th (3.2).
- Wisconsin ranks 181st in assists per game (12.9) while Rutgers ranks 232nd (11.4).
- On the road, Wisconsin is 1-4 ATS with 4 unders and 1 push.
- At home, Rutgers is 5-0-1 ATS with 4 unders and 2 overs.
- Rutgers ranks fifth in rebounds per game (43.5) while Wisconsin ranks 254th (31.6).
- The Scarlet Knights rank 38th in steals per game (7.9) while the Badgers rank 167th (5.4).
- Wisconsin ranks seventh in three pointers allowed per game (15.6) while Rutgers ranks 120th (21.8).
- Rutgers is 2-1 ATS with 2 unders and 1 over in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, Wisconsin is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Scarlet Knights have been outscored by an average of 3.4 points in their last five games. On the season, Rutgers has defeated opponents by an average of 9.6 points.
- During their last five games, the Badgers have scored an average of 79.4 points per game (9.2 above their season average) and allowed an average of 64.8 points per game (0.3 below their season average).